Michael Stillwell could not have wished for a better grounding in business than having the mentoring of his late father Bib to steer him through his formative years. However he is quick to point out it was not all cake and ice cream.
“Dad was a hard task-master and you were on a constant learning curve working with him. Seldom did you make the same mistake twice,” he says.
Michael Stillwell’s business skills developed over a 40-year period in the fiercely competitive automotive retail world, international aviation and IT.
Throughout this apprenticeship the biggest lesson he learned from his father was that a business cannot hope to be successful or survive if there is no strong leadership especially if you happen to be in the people business of automotive retailing.
Having gained ongoing hands-on management experience he took his career to the next stage by completing an Executive MBA and a Masters of Marketing at the University of Melbourne Business School.
It is where Michael honed his core strengths of strategic planning, leadership development, retail sales and marketing, international business, governance and risk management.
He completed a number of programs run by the Australian Institute of Company Directors, obtained a Graduate Diploma of Management at Monash University and participated in a variety of Ford and BMW training programs.
Michael played a key role in the transition and growth of the family business and the corporate succession plan following the death of his father in 1999 before retiring from his full-time role in 2009.
He continues as a non-executive director of the Stillwell Motor Group along with a number of independent company directorships including Interplast Australia, the Australian Motor Sport Foundation and the Advancement Committee for the Melbourne Business School Alumni Council which he chairs.
He is a member of Family Business Australia where he has served as Audit Committee Chairman on the National Board and Chairman of the Victorian Chapter.
Michael has led and co-facilitated training and leadership development programs for a number of organisations and more recently has been active on the speaking circuit.
Michael travels from Melbourne.